What is a Search Engine? – Definition, Types, Uses, and More


A search engine or search engine is a mechanism that collects information available on web servers and distributes it to users in a crawl process in which search engine spiders display data stored on the web.
To find such files, search engines resort to identifying the keyword used by the person searching, and as a result, the user is presented with a list of links that lead to websites where topics are related to the keyword.
Search engines are mechanisms that organize and disseminate information generated on the Internet to users who express their doubts based on keywords in these search engines.
When other search engines appear to promote our brand and commercial sites in an incredible way, we waste their potential due to a lack of knowledge.
Also read: Guide to Use Instagram – About and Use

What are the Types of Search Engines?

The main types of search engines on the Internet:

Hierarchical Search Engines

These types of search engines are text query interfaces.
They check the web pages’ databases through their spiders and collect information about the content compatible with the user’s search.
Once a query is made, they categorize the results by relevance to a specific search and according to the user’s browsing history.


Directory search engines are links to pages grouped by category. They are straightforward, but they require human support and ongoing maintenance to operate.
These search engines do not crawl sites or store content.
They only group links into categories and are ordered by publication date, not relevance or user searches.
An example of this Internet search engine is the Open Directory Project, also known as Dmoz.

Meta Search Engine

These interfaces work by redirecting search results to multiple search engines at the same time.
They send a request to other sites to analyze the results they submitted to expand the range of the same products, present their findings, and arrange links according to the order determined by the metasearch engine’s structural system.
An instance of a metasearch engine is Dogpile.

What are the Uses of Search Engines?

We have seen that there are many search engines, and it is worth noting that each of them exists to perform a specific function.

Search Engines for Good Results


Google is the number one search engine thanks to its database.
It offers the best search experience thanks to its fast advanced image search.


One of the most significant prevalent search engines on the Internet is characterize by an image search function.
You can hunt for images by their size, predominant color, type, GIF, portrait, close-up, etc.

Search Engines for Quick Answers

Tungsten Alpha

A unique site for answering questions in mathematics, astronomy, biology, finance, physics, chemistry.

Yahoo Answers+

It is a popular and practical site for answering simple questions and problems.
There are also other sites like Quora and Reddit.

How many Search Engines are there?

It’s tough not to go to the almighty Google for a search in the first place. However, besides Google, there is an infinite number of search engines on the Internet.
Among the major search engines available on the Internet today.

    • Google
    • Yahoo!
    • Bing
    • Ask
    • AOL
    • Forward
    • Alive
    • Snap
    • AURA!
    • duck, duck, wow
    • MSN Search
    • Yippie
    • Boeing
    • Dumbfine
    • Grams

Also read: What is the SMTP Server? – Definition, Commands, and More

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